Rebecca Grant goes from physiotherapist to picture book author

Rebecca Grant had two young kids and was working as a physiotherapist, but in her spare time she scribbled down stories. She dreamt of publishing a picture book one day, but didn’t know where to start.

“I knew I needed to improve my writing skills, so I decided to bite the bullet and register for the Writing Picture Books course. I completed the modules and assignments in pockets of free time around my kids and job, and it sparked the desire to dive even deeper into the kid lit world. The more I learnt, the more I realised how little I knew!” Rebecca told us.

Rebecca put that new knowledge to good use and is thrilled that her debut picture book, Potion Commotion, has been acquired for publication by Affirm Press.

“I don't think I can adequately put into words my feelings when I received the news that I was going to be published. It was a mix of excitement, joy and a little bit of disbelief! Definitely a ‘pinch me' moment,” Rebecca says.

Looking for guidance

Rebecca had written a few manuscripts before signing up for Writing Picture Books but she knew they weren’t quite right.

“I knew they needed improving but I didn't know HOW to improve them or what the next step was. I realised it would be beneficial to learn from professionals earlier rather than later, and save time stumbling along blindly by myself. I chose the AWC course as it had great reviews and I liked the idea of having a tutor for personalised feedback.”

Rebecca loved that the Writing Picture Books was full of practical information she could put into practice right away. She also appreciated the personalised feedback she received from her tutor.

“The course gave me the confidence to keep writing! Once I was on the right track I was motivated to continue learning and improving. It was also a lovely way to meet other writers, and from there I joined writing groups and started making connections in the kidlit community. I'm so glad I completed this early on in my writing journey – I never would have progressed as quickly on my own.”

Witches, spells and potions

Rebecca’s debut picture book, Potion Commotion, is the tale of a little witch, Nell, who makes a mistake when casting a spell over a potion, which goes on to cause quite the commotion.

Potion Commotion started as a little phrase rattling around inside my head for quite a while before I actually formed it into a manuscript. I had a vague idea of the story when I started writing it, but no ending! It sat unfinished for weeks until the right ending became clear. After that, the manuscript came together fairly quickly. I did get some critiques/feedback and made some changes as I polished it up.

“I then submitted it to Affirm (as well as some other publishers) and Affirm let me know they were interested in taking it to acquisitions, which resulted in good news and I was offered a contract! This is my debut picture book and we are still in the early stages of the publishing process for it so I'm just learning things as I go along and not entirely sure what is going to happen at each step along the way.”

While Rebecca loved her work as a physiotherapist, she also knows she needs writing to fulfil her creative needs.

“I look forward to my writing time and consider it ‘me time'. My kids are my greatest inspiration and my husband is my greatest support,” she says.

And her advice to other would-be picture book writers is to give it a go.

“I'd say just jump in. You won't regret it!”

Course completed at AWC:
Writing Picture Books

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